Sales of luxury homes worth £1m and more in Yorkshire have enjoyed a significant boom, despite tax changes that have been blamed for scuppering deals in other parts of Britain.
A fresh analysis of the housing market by Lloyds Bank reveals that sales of million pound properties across the region have strongly outperformed trade in many other parts of the country.
In the first six months of 2017, purchases of prime homes in Yorkshire rose by 45 percent compared to the same period in 2016, but a drop of one percent was recorded across Britain.
Nationally, 6,613 luxury homes sold, down from 6,684, while in Yorkshire, 38 homes sold in the first half of 2016 and 55 in the six months from this January.
The average price of £1m-plus homes fell for a third year in a row, by two percent to £1.7m but Yorkshire saw the fastest price growth of all regions at five percent, up from £1,378,578 to £1,452,252.
Lloyds said the market may be distorted by changing interest rates and economic stability, plus a rush to complete purchases before higher stamp duty on buy-to-lets and second and additional homes came in April last year.
Sarah Deaves, Lloyds’ private banking director, said the stamp duty changes, which saw a three percent increase for second homes, resulted in a surge of purchases in Q1 2016.
A strong market in the North could be down to buyers taking advantage of lower borrowing rates, she said.
Ben Pridden, head of residential sales at Savills in Yorkshire, said: “Despite the obvious challenges in the economy, the best houses when correctly priced are still selling as well as ever.
“People forget that Yorkshire has only just started to show signs of recovery since the downturn compared to London which has seen positive growth over the last few years. I suspect these figures may well be led from particular markets such as York which is completely resilient.”
Patrick McCutcheon, head of residential at Dacre, Son & Hartley, which has headquarters in Ilkley, said: “Our own experience across our 21 office group is very much in line with Lloyds - sales reacting to more realistic pricing which has had to filter through the system following George Osborne’s introduction of punitive stamp duty charges on properties priced over the £1m level.
“Upper sector homes have performed well in the open market, but there has also been a healthy increase in off market deals, fuelled no doubt by tightening supply and some sellers requirement of discretion.”
MIXED PICTURE NATIONALLY
The region’s strong sales performance of million pound homes was outdone only in the North West where the number of luxury homes sold soared by some 55 percent in the first half of the year.
Elsewhere and million pound home sales in London fell by seven percent, and far more significantly in Scotland (35 percent), East Midlands (27) and Wales (31).
The Office for Budget Responsibility has revised down forecasts for house prices and housing transactions and Lloyds Bank warned that this could mean that it takes longer for people to sell a million pound property or to find their new dream home in the new year.